Airlines have figured out that they can make a lot of money by flying to smaller towns and cities in India, not just the big ones. The aviation landscape of India has undergone a noticeable transformation in the last decade or so. While it's still important for airlines to connect major cities, a substantial part of the industry's expansion is now originating from less populated areas and towns.
More people in the middle class can afford to fly because of cheaper tickets and nearby airports. Because of this, airlines have begun flying to new places. The government has also helped by giving discounts on flights to smaller areas.
Experts who study the aviation industry and make predictions suggest that India's aviation future looks strong. One group, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India, thinks that by 2043, India might have around 1.3 billion travelers and around 4,000 airplanes.
The bounce back in traffic after COVID has also been strong, with the DGCA reporting that more than 37 million passengers took to the skies in the first three months of this year alone. The aviation ministry is excited about growth prospects and is actively increasing the number of airports.
The sheer size of India’s population means there will be a plentiful supply of first-time travelers for the foreseeable future, especially as their spending power increases. A report by Mint makes an interesting observation regarding travelers from smaller cities getting their first taste of flying after the pandemic when their employers flew them back to bigger cities. A senior executive added,
“A lot of companies in key cities, which had hired blue-collar workers from smaller cities, needed these workers to come back and provided them with flight tickets. Now, many of these workers are saving up from their incomes and continuing to take flights.”